[development] Modifying Core Tables

nan wich nan_wich at bellsouth.net
Tue Jul 13 15:59:31 UTC 2010

First, in case I didn't say it, this is for an internal customer module, period. 
I would not be thinking of this for a contributed module, much as I would like 
to in some cases (especially pre-D7 taxonomy).

I don't fear JOINs. In this case, it just seems like the best place to put this 
data is with the other stuff to wchich it belongs. In this case, that is with 
the comment row. As it turns out, it doesn't make much difference because the 
comment module doesn't use drupal_write_record, so I would need a hook_comment 
to add those fields any way. What a pain!

Nancy E. Wichmann, PMP
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

From: "larry at garfieldtech.com" <larry at garfieldtech.com>
To: development at drupal.org
Sent: Mon, July 12, 2010 4:47:59 PM
Subject: Re: [development] (no subject)

I generally warn people away from modifying another module's tables (core being 
a collection of modules).  The potential for collision, confusion, and stuff 
randomly disappearing on you is too great.

If you have a one-off where you know what your situation is, then you can 
sometimes get away with it.  A contrib module on d.o that starts messing with 
the user table, for instance, is a code smell that I want to stay far away from 

JOINs, especially on indexed integer fields (like nid, uid, etc.) are really 
really fast.  SQL is designed to make them fast.  Don't fear the join.

--Larry Garfield

On 7/12/10 2:53 PM, Brian Fending wrote:
> +1 for moshe's .02. Contrib should not, IMO, try to modify that
> extensively. Reference point is CCK, which gained simplicity in its
> inclusion in Core, but did not assume it. Kosher Law notwithstanding.
> On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:04 PM, Moshe Weitzman <weitzman at tejasa.com
> <mailto:weitzman at tejasa.com>> wrote:
>    my .02 is that such altering is quite reasonable for custom
>    programming but not so kosher for contrib modules
>    On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM, nan wich <nan_wich at bellsouth.net
>    <mailto:nan_wich at bellsouth.net>> wrote:
>      > Is there an official stance on using hook_schema_alter to
>    add columns to
>      > core tables? For example, we collect additional data on anonymous
>    comments
>      > and want to actually save that data. Rather than creating another
>    table (and
>      > subsequent JOINs), I'd just as soon stuff that data into
>    the comments table,
>      > where it belongs. Should we ever disable comments (unlikely), we
>    probably
>      > wouldn't mind losing that data too.
>      >
>      >
>      > Nancy E. Wichmann, PMP
>      >
>      > Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Dr.
>    Martin L. King,
>      > Jr.
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